Vail's Vonn wins U.S. record 33rd World Cup, clinches 3rd straight overall title
March 12, 2010 —
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany - Vail's Lindsey Vonn did it again. The Olympic downhill champion locked in yet another accolade this season as she clinched her third straight Audi FIS World Cup Overall title with a stunning super G victory Friday.
Vonn's title came just an hour before her U.S. Ski Team teammate Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) clinched his second GS crystal globe in three years.
"It's so important to me [to win the overall]. The overall title is one of the biggest things you can win in our sport. I always try to give my best every day, but it's a long season," said Vonn, who had already clinched the super G title prior to the Olympics.
"The last few years have gone really well for me. It's so hard to say whether you'll be able to win the overall title. To stand here in the finish and have a title in my hand is so rewarding."
Vonn's super G victory marked her 33rd career win, breaking the American record of 32 wins previously held by Bode Miller (Franconia, NH). Additionally, it was the 11th win of Vonn's season, breaking her own mark of nine.
"I was so nervous because the overall title was on the line. To win the last race of the season and to break the U.S. record of 32 U.S. wins - I'm so happy. I'm ecstatic," Vonn said. "It's been an amazing season - and definitely a long season - but I'm so happy that I was able to ski well today and come through. Having the overall title is so rewarding and I am so happy."
Vonn had placed her name on the overall globe before her skis even left the start house on Friday. In order to take home the globe friend and competitor Maria Riesch of Germany would have needed to finish first or second in the race. But as Vonn readied herself to ski, Riesch was bumped to third by Swiss Nadia Styger, skiing three spots of the American. But that didn't stop Vonn from wanting to pull in another win for 2010.
"I knew what place Maria was in, so I knew the World Cup overall was already secured. But I still wanted to go out there and have a good end to the season," Vonn said. "I'm just really happy I had a good run and was able to end the season well."
According to Vonn, having a course set that was familiar on a race day plagued with tricky snow was a key factor in her win.
"Our coach Alex Hoedlmoser set the course and I definitely think he set it to our strengths as a team. The snow conditions weren't holding up as well as I would have liked and I was the last person to start, so I knew exactly what was going on," Vonn said.
In the end, Vonn was happy to accomplish so much this year, and said it did not come without the help of many.
"It means the world to me. If you had asked me at the beginning of the season if I'd have been able to do that, I would have said 'not likely.' It takes a lot of hard work, not only by me, but from the team, from U.S. Ski Team coaches, from my husband, from Red Bull and my ski company Head," Vonn said. "It's everyone working together to make as successful a season as possible and I couldn't do it without them."
On the eve of another season's end, Vonn also reflected on the success of her team and what they have to look forward to.
"I am really happy with the season as a whole for our entire team. We've had some amazing successes," Vonn said. "The U.S. is definitely a major force on the World Cup and in the Olympics and I'm really looking forward to next season and the World Championships back here in Garmisch."
Racing alongside Vonn for the U.S. on Friday was double silver medalist Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) who went out while putting down a sensational run, charging and tucking through bumpy corners always looking for speed.
"I just had to go for it. I knew that to win today I had to be fast. I just went a little bit too straight and crashed," Mancuso said.
With the super G out of the way, the U.S. Ski Team has only the slalom to race in on Saturday to wrap things up for 2010 with Sarah Schleper (Vail, CO) as the only U.S woman in the gate. After a season of numerous injuries and the World Cup overall title safely secure, Vonn will not start.
2010 AUDI FIS WORLD CUP FINALS
Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany - March 12, 2010
Women's Super G
1. Lindsey Vonn, Vail, CO, 1:19.30
2. Elisabeth Goergl, Austria, 1:19.46
3. Nadia Styger, Switzerland, 1:19.87
4. Maria Riesch, Germany, 1:19.89
5. Anja Paerson, Sweden, 1:19.95
DNF Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, CA
Ligety win another GS crystal globe
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (March 12) - Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) added some more oomph to his trophy collection Friday as he clinched the second Audi FIS World Cup giant slalom title of his career with third in the season's final event. The victory places Ligety in some pretty illustrious company as he joins Phil Mahre to become the only American men to earn two World Cup giant slalom titles.
"Having two globes is awesome," Ligety said. "It's cool to have those and to be the best in giant slalom over the last couple of years is nice."
Ligety's GS title is his second in three years, having won in 2008. Phil Mahre is the only other American man to win two, taking back-to-back titles in 1982 and '83. Bode Miller won the GS crown in 2004.
The GS was won by Carlo Janka of Switzerland, who locked the men's overall World Cup title with the win, followed by Davide Simoncelli of Italy in second.
Ligety had a solid first run and, after falling slightly behind at the third interval, he picked up the pace in the second run to tie for third in the giant slalom race with Austrian Philipp Schoerghofer.
"It's always better to tie someone than be one hundredth behind, so I was happy to be on the podium," Ligety mused.
With a somewhat narrow 43 point lead on the giant slalom standings going into Friday's race, Ligety said things fell into place on game day for him to beat his toughest challengers for the title.
"I knew I had to have a good first run and I was pretty lucky in the sense that [Massimiliano] Blardone had a big screw up and then Marcel [Hirscher] got disqualified," Ligety said. "That opened it up for me and I skied decently in the second run."
While those advantages locked Ligety in the title run before his second run, the 2006 Olympic champ had no idea he had already won the globe when the time came for him to race.
"I didn't actually know that I had won the title no matter what at that point," Ligety said. "I would have gone harder had I known that, but I had a safe second run and was still pretty excited to get on the podium."
With the title Ligety added the 2010 discipline title to the first he won in 2008. He also capped the year with three consecutive World Cup podiums in GS to bookend a season that began with second in Soelden, Austria last October. Despite his success in GS, Ligety was looking for more with his slalom, but has one more chance in slalom Saturday to end on a high note.
"I don't feel like the year has been great otherwise, so it's definitely nice to walk away with the globe," Ligety said. "It's cool to be able to ski at this level for multiple years."
Wrapping up the race Ligety noted the future he hopes to have on the hill when 2011 World Championships are held here.
"The hill is actually pretty good. It's difficult on the top and then the bottom has a super long flat," he said. "It's a confidence booster to do well on the hill that you know you're going to have World Championships here."
Ligety and teammate Jimmy Cochran (Keene, NH) close out individual competition Saturday during World Cup Finals in Germany during the slalom event.
2010 AUDI FIS WORLD CUP FINALS
Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany - March 12, 2010
Men's Giant Slalom
1. Carlo Janka, Switzerland, 2:20.87
2. Davide Simoncelli, Italy, 2:21.18
3 (T). Ted Ligety, Park City, UT, 2:21.44
3 (T). Philipp Schoerghofer, Austria, 2:21.44
5. Didier Cuche, Switzerland, 2:21.49
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